Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University gathered more than 40 Universities at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Scientific Convention Center, Lucknow on 16 January, to felicitate Mahamahopadhyaya Swami Bhadreshdasji, a sadhu and scholar of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha.
He was honoured with two awards – ‘Acharya Pravar’ by Uttar Pradesh State and ‘Excellence in Philosophy’ by Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow, for authoring two unique contemporary Sanskrit texts: the Swaminarayan Bhashya and the Swaminarayan-Siddhant-Sudha.
In Hinduism, an Acharya is a formal title of a Sanskrit scholar who has secured a degree in Veda and Vedanga, according to the spokesperson from BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha. Bhadreshdas is the seventh Acharya in the darshanic tradition of Hinduism joining the ranks of Adi Sankaracharya, Ramanujacharya, Madhvacharya, Vallabhacharya after having written the Akshar-Purushottam Darshan, the spokesperson added.
“Throughout the history of India regions, kingdoms and states have all promoted art and literature, particularly works which preserve and promote our traditions and values,” BAPS noted, adding that Uttar Pradesh state has always been eager to honor the creators and promoters of such works.
The Vice-Chancellor of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow, Dr. N.M.P. Verma, furthered this sentiment by organizing a felicitation ceremony to honor Mahamahopadhyaya Pujya Bhadreshdas Swami Ji, BAPS said. Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Dinesh Sharma, Vice-chancellors and other educational dignitaries joined the felicitation at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Scientific Convention Center, Lucknow.
Bhadreshdas Swami has written a commentary on the Prasthantrayi according to principles of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, the Akshar-Purushottam Darshan, the press release said. This is not only the first novel bhashya written after 150 years following Baldev Vidyabhushan, but, after Shankaracharya’s bhashya, this is the first time in 1,200 years that a bhashya has been written by one author on all three texts of the Prasthantrayi, the press release said. “The revival of this tradition after many centuries is a source of great pride for us all,” BAPS said in the press release.
He has also written the ‘Swaminarayan-Siddhant-Sudha’ – a vadagrantha that offers an exposition, justification and defence of philosophical principles. Bhadreshdas Swami and his work is acknowledged by many awards such as Mahamahopadhyay, Vedant Martand, Darshan Kesari, Abhinav Bhashyakar and Vidvat-Sarvabhauma.
The Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Dinesh Sharma, also expressed his and the entire state’s gratitude by the ‘Acharya Pravar’ award. Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University joined the felicitation by awarding the title of ‘Excellence in Philosophy’ to 21st century Bhashyakar for his contribution to the study of Sanskrit and Vedanta. This event also marked the first time that more than 40 universities from Uttar Pradesh joined the felicitation of a Sanskrit scholar, the press release said. Vice-chancellor Dr. Mahrukh Mirza of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti Arabi-Farsi University presented a felicitation letter in Arabic language expressing his respect for this historical academic work.
The event began with singing of the national anthem and deep pragatya. Thereafter, the vice-chancellor of BBAU, Dr. N.M.P. Verma, welcomed Deputy Chief Minister, all of the vice chancellors, and invited guests in attendance.
Addressing the assembly, the Chancellor of Sagar University, Balvant Jani is quoted saying the following in the press release, “Bhadreshdas Swamiji is the contemporary acharya of this age. Akshar-Purushottam Darshan is a Vedic darshan independent of and distinct to the darshans known to this date, such as Advait, Vishishtadvait, Dvait, etc. The Swaminarayan Bhashya written on the basis of Prasthanatrayi, and the Swaminarayan Siddant Sudha are both traditional and authentic scriptures. As far as I know, such an event is unforeseen in the State of Uttar Pradesh.”
Sharma said, “This is one of the greatest event of the century, like Shankaracharya, Ramanujacharya Pu. Bhadresh Swami comes in the lineage of ‘acharya’ and by honouring Pu. Bhadreshdas Swami by the title of ‘Acharya Pravar’ the Uttar Pradesh state is honoured.” He also requested BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha to establish a university in Uttar Pradesh.
The Vice chancellor of Shobhit University Kuvarshekhar Vrajendraji said, “On this occasion we declare to establish a Sanskrut faculty in our Shri Ramswaroop Memorial Univesity”.
Honourable Governor Shri Ram Naik also acknowledged this historic work and sent his good will message and letter of appreciation.
Swami Bhadreshdasji addressed the audience on the inspiration force behind the creation of the Prasthantrayi bhashyas, his Guru, His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj. “All this work has only been possible due to the grace of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, Guru Pramukh Swami Maharaj and Guru Mahant Swami Maharaj. I offer all the aclaims to their lotus feet,” said Bhadreshdas Swamiji.
BAPS senior sadhu, Pujya Narayanmuni Swamiji gave concluding remarks. The event concluded with the singing of the national anthem.